Tag Archives: credit & debit card rewards

Randi Glazer

Why Renters Insurance Matters

Randi GlazerThe phone rang and on the other end was a close friend of mine, sobbing quietly into the phone. Her new apartment had been burglarized and her brand new expensive camera was now gone forever. It’s incredibly unsettling and violating to be burglarized.

What adds insult to injury is she didn’t have renters insurance. What could’ve been an inconvenience now is a devastation. I urged her to get renters insurance at this point. She didn’t heed my advice since she didn’t think it would be likely she would need it after being burglarized. 2 weeks later, her laptop was stolen, still without renters insurance.

What can Renters Insurance Do For You?

Renters insurance is actually incredibly affordable. Coverage starts at around $100 per year with a $500 deductible. If you use the insurance once in your life, it will be worth the investment.  Renters insurance also helps protect your personal possessions provides coverage for your things (clothes, furniture, electronics) up to your coverage limit. Renters insurance provides personal liability which is coverage if you’re ever legally responsible for an injury or property damage, like if you drop some water and a guest slips and sues. It also helps with medical payments and coverage for medical expenses if someone (other than a resident) gets hurt in an accident at your place. You can also get additional living expenses covered for extra temporary living expenses if your place is damaged and becomes uninhabitable.

Where to get Renters Insurance? A good jumping off point might be http://www.netquote.com/ to get a few quotes for different insurance. Look for the yearly cost, deductible, and ease of use. Major providers include Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, and Progressive.

Digital Products

Digital Products Are Changing The Landscape of Finance

Digital Products

Finance, both personal and otherwise, has long been an esoteric field, its intricacies walled off from those on the outside. But the way people consume financial services is changing, with ever-expanding digital capabilities more and more accessible. Writing for TechCrunch, Pierre Brais, argues that the stranglehold that the old world of large financial institutions has on these services is rapidly eroding.

Brais, a venture capitalist and founder of Olocode, a digital business card sharing platform, sees the disruptive forces of the internet radically reshaping the way we purchase and consume financial products. This democratization, in Brais’s view, will lead to continued innovation and lower costs.

Consumer Trust

Prior to the financial crisis, consumers and regulators alike were wary of trusting new entrants into the financial sector. But since that time, trust has shifted away from the big banks. Brais points to the JOBS Act and the FSA restructuring the U.K. as just a few of the ways that the landscape has become easier for startups offering financial services. Ironically, many of those entrepreneurs who are putting these products to market are former employees of the big banks, who understand the limitations of the large corporations.

Money Going Digital

Mobile payments served as the first wave of digital financial products on platforms like Square or Braintree, but companies like Dwolla and TransferWise are pushing towards money transferring and foreign exchange. And with digital cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin gaining traction, consumers are showing clear signs that they are becoming more comfortable with keeping their money within the digital realm. Large banks can be slow to respond to this rapid level of evolution that we are seeing in the digital finance realm.

Digital Currency Can Obviate Big Banking

Some predict that the third wave of digital finance, digital currency, can make the big banks obsolete. While such a bold prediction still lies entirely within the realm of speculation at this point, what is clear is that digital banking and digital finance has a way of eroding the need for an intermediary between savers and lenders, the primary function of the banking system. Brais predicts that more and more customers will be empowered by the nimbleness and freedom afforded by digital financial products, making it harder and harder for big banks to maintain control over finance.

Read more at TechCrunch.


Credit Cards

Trend Fluctuations Among Credit Card Consumers

Credit CardsIn a recent report, creditcards.com found that interest rates on new credit cards offers are the lowest they have been in the past 5 months. The current 15 percent interest rate has fallen from its  two week streak of 15.09 percent. Credit card companies have also shown more leniency towards borrowers by giving them a second chance to to receiving larger credit limits, despite their credit pasts.  

Late payments on credit cards have also decreased in recent years. This particular consumer trend is due to a widespread knowledge of understanding the consequences bad credit can have on your future, as well as stricter regulations on who is able to apply for a credit card. In addition to these changes, credit card companies have also developed scoring methods that can indicate which customers will have delayed payments, and which ones will pay on time. 

The improvement of our economy is another factor of why consumers are now applying for more credit cards and consciously trying to improve their credit. Despite the willingness to purchase more big ticket items, the fear of acquiring additional debt is still present among Americans. As of late September 2014, total debt went up to 1.30 trillion dollars, including car loans, mortgage, and student loans. These statistics show that debt is present among diverse collective of age groups and communities.

The increase in debt has a positive correlation with the amount of credit cards that were opened this year. Since January 1st, the Federal Reserve’s reported a $ 22 billion increase in credit card balances across the board. The future of credit  cards depends on a few factors, starting from fluctuations in our economy, the uncertainty of the job market as well as constantly increasing college tuitions. In turn, this will prompt credit card companies to respond accordingly by changing interest rates and raining credit card limits.